Saturday, October 15, 2016

Still Life with Robin: (Not) Given the Slip

Photo by USPS
by Peggy Robin

For the last couple of days the Postal Service has been playing a little game of ping-pong with me over the delivery of a small Amazon package. On Tuesday, I put in an Amazon order for some odd-sized batteries – not the type you can reliably find at the corner store. I got the emailed order confirmation immediately, and on Wednesday I got the Amazon shipping notice: “Your item has shipped!” (Exclamation point theirs – Amazon always want me to know how thrilled they are that they’ve fulfilled my order.) However, the supposed arrival day, Thursday, came and went, and there was no package. Then on Friday, there’s another email from the nice people at Amazon, letting me know that USPS has informed them that the mail carrier was unable to deliver the package. I was directed to click on the USPS link in the email to find out what went wrong and what I’m supposed to do about it.

Except there is no explanation. The USPS link says the mail carrier left a slip at my door with the reason for the failed delivery. If I will fill out the form online, I can let USPS know whether I want to schedule a re-delivery attempt or come to the post office to pick the package up. All they need is the tracking number on the slip to handle my request.

The trouble is I never received a slip. And I am completely baffled as to why USPS would have been unable to deliver the package with the rest of my mail that arrived that day. The package is small enough to fit through my mail slot. (I know, because I have ordered these batteries before.) It did not need a signature – and even if it did, I work at home and I’m sure I was there when the mail arrived; there’s no reason why I wouldn’t have been able to sign for it. But that doesn’t explain why I did not receive a failed-delivery-attempt slip.

Without this slip I can’t really complete the USPS online request for re-delivery. I did the best I could with the frustrating form and hit “submit.” I just had to hope they'd be able to find my package without the tracking number. I also had to assume that someone else along my mail carrier’s route had received my “failed delivery attempt” slip and was even more baffled by receiving this piece of paper than I was by not receiving it. Someone’s got to be wondering who sent them a package….a secret admirer? A secret enemy? That person has even less of a clue what’s going on than I do.

At least for me, the frustration ended this afternoon when I heard a light thump on the front porch. By the time I went downstairs to open the door, the mail carrier was gone, but there was a little padded envelope left at the door, and inside, the packet of batteries. And through the mail slot….the rest of today’s mail....and a few items addressed to my next door neighbor, as well. Thank you, USPS!

Still Life with Robin is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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